Jack Crawford
OBE
Jack Crawford c 1930s.jpg
Full nameJohn Herbert Crawford
Country (sports) Australia
Born(1908-03-22)22 March 1908
Urangeline, New South Wales, Australia
Died10 September 1991(1991-09-10) (aged 83)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1926 (amateur tour)
Retired1951
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1979 (member page)
Singles
Career record681-182 (78.9%) [1]
Career titles66 [1]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1933, A. Wallis Myers)[2]
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenW (1931, 1932, 1933, 1935)
French OpenW (1933)
WimbledonW (1933)
US OpenF (1933)
Doubles
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1929, 1930, 1932, 1935)
French OpenW (1935)
WimbledonW (1935)
US OpenF (1939)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenW (1931, 1932, 1933)
French OpenW (1933)
WimbledonW (1935)

John Herbert Crawford, OBE (22 March 1908 – 10 September 1991) was an Australian tennis player during the 1930s. He was the World No. 1 amateur for 1933, during which year he won the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon, and was runner-up at the U.S. Open in five sets, thus missing the Grand Slam by one set that year.[2] He also won the Australian Open in 1931, 1932, and 1935. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979.

Early life

Crawford was born on 22 March 1908 in Urangeline, near Albury, New South Wales, the second youngest child of Jack Sr. and Lottie Crawford.[3] He had no tennis training as a child and practiced mainly by hitting against the house and school and playing his older brother.[3] Crawford played his first competition match at age 12 in a mixed doubles match at the Haberfield club.[4] He won the Australian junior championships four consecutive times from 1926 to 1929 which entitled him to the permanent possession of the trophy.[5]

Career

Although he won a number of major championship titles he is perhaps best known for something he did not do – complete the tennis Grand Slam in 1933, five years before Don Budge accomplished the feat for the first time in 1938.

In 1933, Crawford won the Australian Championships, French Championships, and Wimbledon Championships, leaving him needing to win the U.S. Championships to complete the Grand Slam.[6] An asthmatic who suffered in the muggy summer heat of Forest Hills, Crawford was leading the Englishman Fred Perry in the final of the US Championships by two sets to one when his strength began to fade. It was said that Crawford was an asthmatic who frequently took brandy mixed with sugar to help his breathing during matches, and on the muggy afternoon in Forest Hills he was said to have downed two or three doses of the concoction, though there are differing accounts of what Crawford actually drank. Crawford ended up losing the match by the final score of 3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6.

Crawford was ranked World No. 1 amateur in 1933 by A. Wallis Myers,[7] Pierre Gillou,[8] Didier Poulain,[9] John R. Tunis[10][11] (The Literary Digest), Harry Hopman[12] (Melbourne Herald), Alfred Chave (Brisbane Telegraph),[13] "Set" (The West Australian)[14] and Ellsworth Vines.[15]

Crawford exacted some measure of revenge against Perry at the 1935 Australian, winning the final against Perry in four sets. Historically, he was competing in his tenth straight major final, a record matched only by Big Bill Tilden and then joined by Roger Federer. He advanced to his last Australian finals in 1936 and 1940, felled each time by fellow Aussie Adrian Quist, but he had set a record by making seven Australian finals appearances, equaled only by Roy Emerson in 1967.

In his 1979 autobiography Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and great player himself, included Crawford in his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.[16]

Crawford was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 1979 and into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1976 for his services to sport.[17]

Playing style

Crawford at White City, Sydney ca. 1929
Crawford at White City, Sydney ca. 1929
Crawford in 1933 holding his characteristic Alexander 'Cressy Wizard' flat-topped racket
Crawford in 1933 holding his characteristic Alexander 'Cressy Wizard' flat-topped racket

Crawford was a right-handed baseline player with a game that was based more on technical skills and accuracy than on power. He was not particularly fast but had excellent anticipation and his game was described as fluent and effortless. His style was compared with Henri Cochet. Crawford always wore long, white pressed flannels and a long-sleeved shirt.[18] He played with an old-fashioned flat-topped racket produced by the Alexander Patent Racket Company in Launceston, Tasmania.[19]

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Win 1931 Australian Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman 6–4, 6–2, 2–6, 6–1
Win 1932 Australian Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman 4–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1
Win 1933 Australian Championships Grass United States Keith Gledhill 2–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–2
Win 1933 French Championships Clay France Henri Cochet 8–6, 6–1, 6–3
Win 1933 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Ellsworth Vines 4–6, 11–9, 6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Loss 1933 U.S. Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 3–6, 13–11, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6
Loss 1934 Australian Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 3–6, 5–7, 1–6
Loss 1934 French Championships Clay Germany Gottfried von Cramm 4–6, 9–7, 6–3, 5–7, 3–6
Loss 1934 Wimbledon Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 3–6, 0–6, 5–7
Win 1935 Australian Championships Grass United Kingdom Fred Perry 2–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 1936 Australian Championships Grass Australia Adrian Quist 2–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–9
Loss 1940 Australian Championships Grass Australia Adrian Quist 3–6, 1–6, 2–6

Doubles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1929 Australian Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman Australia Jack Cummings
Australia Edgar Moon
6–1, 6–8, 4–6, 6–1, 6–3
Win 1930 Australian Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman Australia Tim Fitchett
Australia John Hawkes
8–6, 6–1, 2–6, 6–3
Loss 1931 Australian Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman Australia James Anderson
Australia Norman Brookes
2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Win 1932 Australian Championships Grass Australia Edgar Moon Australia Harry Hopman
Australia Gerald Patterson
12–10, 6–3, 4–6, 6–4
Loss 1933 Australian Championships Grass Australia Edgar Moon United States Keith Gledhill
United States Ellsworth Vines
4–6, 8–10, 2–6
Loss 1934 French Championships Grass Australia Vivian McGrath France Jean Borotra
France Jacques Brugnon
9–11, 3–6, 6–2, 6–4, 7–9
Win 1935 Australian Championships Grass Australia Vivian McGrath United Kingdom Patrick Hughes
United Kingdom Fred Perry
6–4, 8–6, 6–2
Win 1935 French Championships Clay Australia Adrian Quist Australia Donald Turnbull
Australia Vivian McGrath
6–1, 6–4, 6–2
Win 1935 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Adrian Quist United States Wilmer Allison
United States John Van Ryn
6–3, 5–7, 6–2, 5–7, 7–5
Loss 1936 Australian Championships Grass Australia Vivian McGrath Australia Adrian Quist
Australia Donald Turnbull
8–6, 2–6, 1–6, 6–3, 2–6
Loss 1939 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Harry Hopman Australia Adrian Quist
Australia John Bromwich
6–8, 1–6, 4–6
Loss 1940 Australian Championships Grass Australia Vivian McGrath Australia John Bromwich
Australia Adrian Quist
3–5, 5–7, 1–6

Mixed doubles: 8 (5 titles, 3 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1928 Wimbledon Championships Grass Australia Daphne Akhurst United States Elizabeth Ryan
South Africa Patrick Spence
5–7, 4–6
Loss 1929 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Crawford Australia Daphne Akhurst
Australia Edgar Moon
6–0, 7–5
Loss 1930 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Crawford Australia Nell Hall Hopman
Australia Harry Hopman
9–11, 6–3, 3–6
Win 1930 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Elizabeth Ryan Germany Hilde Sperling
Germany Daniel Prenn
6–1, 6–3
Win 1931 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Crawford Australia Emily Hood Westacott
Australia Aubrey Willard
7–5, 6–4
Win 1932 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Crawford Australia Nell Hall Hopman
Japan Jiro Sato
6–8, 8–6, 6–3
Win 1933 Australian Championships Grass Australia Marjorie Cox Crawford United States Marjorie Gladman
United States Ellsworth Vines
3–6, 7–5, 13–11
Win 1933 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Margaret Scriven United Kingdom Betty Nuthall
United Kingdom Fred Perry
6–2, 6–3

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# DNQ A NH
(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 SR W–L Win %
Australia 1R QF SF QF SF W W W F W F SF 3R SF F NH NH NH NH NH 3R 1R 3R 3R 2R 1R 4 / 21 52–17 75.4
France A A QF A 2R A A W F SF A A A A NH NH NH NH NH NH A 3R A A A A 1 / 6 20–5 80.0
Wimbledon A A 4R A 3R A SF W F SF QF QF A A NH NH NH NH NH NH A 1R A A A A 1 / 9 36–8 81.8
United States A A QF A A A A F A A A A A 3R A A A A A A A 3R A A A A 0 / 4 10–4 71.4
Win–loss 0–1 2–1 12–4 2–1 6–3 5–0 10–1 23–1 15–3 14–2 8–2 7–2 1–1 5–2 4–1 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 1–4 1–1 1–1 0–1 0–1 6 / 40 118–34 77.6

See also

Sources

  • Kendall, Allan (1995). Australia's Wimbledon Champions. Sydney, NSW: ABC Books for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. ISBN 9780733304101.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Jack Crawford: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennismem SL.
  2. ^ a b "Mr Wallis Myers' Ranking", The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1933.
  3. ^ a b Kendall (1995), p. 57
  4. ^ Kendall (1995), p. 60
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Finn, ed. (2004). Our Open : 100 Years of Australia's Grand Slam. Melbourne: News Custom Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 9781876176600.
  6. ^ "Jack Crawford :". Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938). NSW: National Library of Australia. 12 July 1933. pp. 14–16.
  7. ^ "Crawford Ranks First". The Daily Telegraph. Vol. 3, no. 199. New South Wales, Australia. 5 October 1933. p. 3. Retrieved 22 November 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Comment M. Pierre Gillou - président de la Fédération Française de Tennis - classe les dix meilleurs joueurs du monde" [How Mr. Pierre Gillou - president of the French Tennis Federation - ranks the ten best players of the world]. L'Auto (in French). 15 September 1937. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Quels sont les dix meilleurs joueurs du monde ?" [Who are the ten best players in the world?]. L'Auto (in French). 14 September 1933. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Le classement des dix meilleurs joueurs du monde" [The ranking of the world's ten best players]. L'Auto (in French). 4 November 1933. p. 4.
  11. ^ "PLAYING THE GAME". Daily Examiner. Vol. 25, no. 7882. New South Wales, Australia. 25 October 1933. p. 6. Retrieved 28 November 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "CRAWFORD SUPREME". The Herald (Melbourne). No. 17, 583. Victoria, Australia. 21 September 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 28 November 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ ""The Telegraph" Names World's First Ten". Telegraph (Brisbane). Queensland, Australia. 29 September 1933. p. 20 (LATE CITY). Retrieved 29 November 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "TENNIS LEADERS". The West Australian. Vol. XLIX, no. 9, 746. Western Australia. 23 September 1933. p. 13. Retrieved 4 December 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Vines steps out to name ten best tennis players in world". The Cincinnati Enquirer. 5 November 1933. p. 32 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Writing in 1979, Kramer considered the best ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. He felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
  17. ^ "Jack Crawford". The Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
  18. ^ "International Tennis Hall of Fame". www.tennisfame.com. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  19. ^ Green, Christopher (2011). What a racket! : the illustrated story of the Alexander Patent Racket Co. Ltd., Launceston, Tasmania, Australia 1925-1961. Launceston, Tas.: Bokprint Pty. Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9871085-0-0. OCLC 733310743.